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Navigating The Appellate And Post-Conviction Process

When a defendant is found guilty in a criminal case, there are several options available to provide the defendant relief. However, many of these options are highly time-sensitive, thus it is crucial that you contact our criminal defense team at Boehmer Law immediately after your conviction. Your first consultation is free so call 636-549-8300. The following provides a summary of the options a defendant has after receiving a guilty conviction.

Options After Conviction

After a defendant is convicted and sentenced by the judge, the defendant has 10 days to file a notice of appeal in the sentencing court. Thereafter, the case is docketed in the appropriate appellate court. The defendant’s lawyer has the responsibility of preparing the Record on Appeal and filing it in the court of appeals within 90 days. The Record on Appeal consists of the transcript of the trial and the legal file, which are all relevant dockets from the circuit court’s file. The legal file usually includes the charging document, motions, jury instructions, and the formal judgment.

After the Record on Appeal is filed, the defendant (“appellant”) has 60 days to file an appellate brief. The appellate brief outlines the trial court’s error(s) that warrants a new trial for the appellant. The State of Missouri (“respondent”) then has 30 days to file its respondent’s brief. The appellant is then provided 15 days to file a reply brief. After the case is briefed, the case is docketed before a three-judge panel in the Court of Appeals for oral argument where each party is permitted to argue the merits of their brief. A written opinion is usually issued approximately 60-90 days after oral argument.

Post-conviction Appeal

A Missouri prisoner in custody must file a Form 40 within 90 days after the direct appeal is final to institute a Rule 29.15 or 24.035 proceeding challenging his conviction and sentence. A Rule 29. 15 motion is used when the defendant was found guilty after a trial. A Rule 24.035 motion is used when the defendant entered a guilty plea. If the defendant did not utilize his right to a direct appeal, the defendant must file the motion 180 days from the later of: (1) The date the person is delivered to the custody of the department of corrections; or (2) The date the new judgment or sentence was final for purposes of appeal. A Rule 29.15 and 24.035 motion argues that the conviction or sentence imposed violates the constitution and laws of this state or the constitution of the United States, including claims of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, that the court imposing the sentence was without jurisdiction to do so, or that the sentence imposed was in excess of the maximum sentence authorized by law. Counsel will request an evidentiary hearing, and if granted will have the opportunity to call witnesses.

Seeking Legal Counsel

Immediate action is crucial. Time sensitivity is critical in pursuing these post-conviction relief options. Contact our team at Boehmer Law for guidance and a free initial consultation. Contact us online or call 636-549-8300 to make an appointment in our St. Charles office.